Microsoft backs OpenDocument Format for ANSI standard

Software giant favors ODF in a vote at the American National Standards Institute.

Microsoft said that it has voted in favor of making OpenDocument Format, or ODF, a recognized standard at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The company said it also anticipates that its Open XML File Formats will be submitted and approved by ANSI as well.

ANSI often votes on whether International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards should be added to the American Standards List, Tom Robertson, Microsoft's general manager of interoperability and standards, said in a statement. ODF gained ISO certification about a year ago.

Microsoft, which had one of many votes, chose to vote in favor of ODF because it and Microsoft's Open XML formats--now being considered for ISO certification--perform different functions, said Robertson.

ODF, which has gained favor particularly among government customers, is closely tied to the open-source suite OpenOffice, while the Open XML formats were designed to work with existing Microsoft Office documents, Robertson said.

The result of the ODF vote is expected Thursday.

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